Boiled peanuts. Cool, hip, Southern iconic, tattoo-worthy, and no doubt the darlin’ of the Garden and Gun crowd. Hell, it’s how our Charleston/NYC buddies The Lee Brothers got their start. So, let’s commence to boilin’!
You’ve got to use green or raw peanuts, never roasted peanuts. The green ones are just harvested and super fresh with a high moisture content and only available in the late summer and fall across the peanut belt. We can find them at the local Publix for $1.20/lb. Raw peanuts can be had all year round and have a lower moisture content than green. Both are fine for boiling.
If you’re into it, you might as well get about 3-4 pounds. They are addictive. Start with a large stock pot half-filled with water and enough salt to make it taste like a nice ocean brine: about 1/4 cup Kosher salt per quart of water, but use your tastebuds and just make the water taste salty.
Rinse the peanuts to remove any dirt. Add them to the pot and crank up the heat. When it gets boiling, reduce to a simmer and cook the peanuts uncovered about 1 to 4 hours for green peanuts. Timing depends on the size and freshness of the nuts, it’s impossible to give an exact cooking time. Raw peanuts will require longer cooking. Again, timing is variable and dependent upon the size and how dry the peanuts are. Also, it’s a personal preference for how soft you like them. Some folks want to cook them for an eternity just like barbecue, but we like them soft with a little bite. Try a batch or three and you’ll dial in your own taste and time preferences. The other convenient way to cook them is in the slow cooker. Start them in the salty brine on low or high and cook for about 6 hours. Test them once in a while to see how they taste. You may be cooking them for quite a few more hours, especially on low. You’ll just have to go with the flow on this one. It’s easy.